Salata Arabieh (Arab Salad) – The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden
Serves 4 – In this most common of Arab salads, all the ingredients are cut very small. Do not prepare it too long before serving, and dress it just before serving.
1 small head romaine lettuce
1 small red Italian or mild white onion or 5 scallions
1 small-med cucumber
4 radishes, thinly sliced
2 Tbls chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tsp chopped fresh dill or chervil
1 Tbls chopped fresh mint
3 Tbls extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/3 lemon
salt and pepper
1 small clove garlic, crushed
Shred the lettuce, chop the onions finely, and cut the vegetables into tiny dice, using a sharp knife. Put them in a bowl with the radishes and herbs. Make a dressing with oil and lemon juice, slat and pepper, and garlic if you like. Pour over the salad and mix well.
Roasted Beets, Avocado, and Sunflower Seeds from Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden
1 lb beets
kosher salt & black pepper
extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbls red wine vinegar
¼ cup salted roasted sunflower seeds
½ cup lightly packed roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
4 scallions, trimmed, (including ½” off the green tops), sliced on a sharp angle, soaked in ice water for 20 minutes, and drained well
½ cup lightly packed, seeded, chopped pickled peppers
2 firm-ripe avocadoes
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Trim the tops and bottoms of the beets. Wash the greens and spin dry in a salad spinner. Rinse and scrub the beets to remove any mud and grit. Cut up any larger beets so that they are all about the same size.
Put the beets in a baking dish that’s large enough to accommodate all of them in a single layer. Season with salt, then pour ¼ cup water into the dish. Cover tightly with foil and steam roast until the beets are tender when pierced with a knife. Depending on the size, density, and age of the beets, this could take between 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Meanwhile, if you have beet greens to cook, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add a glug of olive oil, add the beet greens, and toss them until they are wilted and a bit stewed, about 5 minutes. Set aside until cool, then chop through them a few times.
When the beets are tender, let them cool until you can handle them, then rub or pare away the skins. Cut into ½-inch wedges or chunks and pile into a bowl. Add the greens.
While the beets are still warm, sprinkle with the vinegar, ½ tsp salt, and many twists of pepper. Toss to distribute the seasonings and let the beets absorb the vinegar for a few minutes. Add a healthy glug of olive oil and toss again. Let the beets sit at room temperature until you are ready to serve.
To assemble for serving, add the sunflower seeds, parsley, scallions, and pickled peppers and toss gently. Peel the avocadoes and cut them into neat chunks that are about the same size as the beet wedges, and add them to the beets too. Toss thoroughly but very gently, so you don’t mash the avocado too much. Taste and adjust with more salt, black pepper, vinegar, or oil. Serve right away.